Our healthcare system, especially in the US, is geared towards sick care. But we can be more than that with preventative health. We need to move past damage control and into health optimization. This episode’s guest has co-founded a company that is not just about putting on band-aid solutions, but about diving into the root causes of health issues. We are joined by Michelle Martin, the CEO of Maka Health, to talk about preventative health and where it is heading in the future. She shares her insights on how software is going to guide our lifestyle decisions, how we can leverage social connections to healing, and how machine learning and AI can impact the future of health. Michelle also discusses the role of functional medicine specialists and gives her insights on measuring overall health and wellbeing. Today’s conversation shows how much energy there is to health optimization. Discover the future of preventative health by tuning in!

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The Future Of Preventative Health With Michelle Martin

In this episode, we’re going to be talking with Michelle Martin who’s the CEO of Maka Health, which is doing some very interesting things in the tech space to make all of us healthier. Michelle, can you give us a little bit of an introduction about yourself, what you’re doing at Maka Health and how it’s going to help us in the future?

It’s a pleasure to be here. I’ve had a technology background that’s been a lot about collective decision-making and group wisdom. I have been a tech entrepreneur for many years. This company, Maka Health, is a culmination of my passion for integrative and holistic but also, very data-driven decision-making. Essentially, how the future of medicine can be influenced and evolve in a way where things are done incredibly ethically. Patients are very empowered but we’re essentially making collective decisions that are better than they are now with the technology available to us. We’ll get more into it.

As a technologist and an innovator, you see all these tools at your disposal. You’re seeing the front end of primary care and seeing a big gap. You’re going, “How do we break down that barrier and efficiently get improved health outcomes to people?” We talk about Maka Health being personalized, preventative and regenerative healthcare because we are not just about putting on a Band-Aid. We’re about root causes, deep looks at labs and genetics. We can get more into that. I’m keen to hear your questions. Thanks for having me.

I like what you’re doing. One of the things that I was interested to talk with you about is the idea of preventative health. Especially in the US, we have a healthcare system that’s a sick care system. We don’t optimize health outcomes before you get to the point where there are problems. There’s a lot of data showing that lifestyle changes can have a much more powerful impact than things like medications or surgery. What is an untapped market is how we optimize those lifestyle changes to make us all healthier. That’s what you’re trying to do, is that correct?

Yes and. With the business model around prescribing exercise and motivating people to do the exercise, there’s one thing to know something is true. We all know the exercise. There’s a second thing to design a system that will get people to do the thing. When I think about the challenges, it’s so much more beyond that prescriptive element. I would say that lifestyle but also plants and supplements help people get from A to B. We’ve been working with top scientists in their field for a while. Just hearing these stories from top researchers, like plant statins are as effective as a different pharmaceutical intervention for heart disease. They couldn’t get the research done and the funding.


FSP 8 | Future Of Preventative Health


These stories have perpetuated why certain interventions are prioritized in the primary care system. Primary care has been awesome at sick care but it’s not good when more people are still getting sick because it can’t keep up. It’s a downward spiral that we need to collectively intervene in. I’m still optimistic. I see each of the very glaring problems. There are solutions to them. We just need to hurry up and put them together.

I think of Maka Health as the best playlist in a bunch of areas of health. How do we do the best behavioral design so that people are intrinsically and extrinsically motivated to stick to something? It could be as simple as exercising or sticking to your supplement regimen that half the people don’t. We know we should do it but do we? It’s a whole soup-to-nuts journey to build people into their health ambassadors as well.

We do know that the preventative and complementary health industry is growing 18% year over year in terms of consumer spending. People are looking outside of primary care for support in various ways. What that’s translating to, especially during COVID, was a lot of focus on immunity health. Having that big social-cultural event happen has fortunately or unfortunately massively increased the number of Google searches for health-related issues. Everyone’s trying to be their own doctor.

I like that that’s a signal of health empowerment. That’s good in a one-way signal but people aren’t getting personalized care if they’re going into Google. Maybe they get an idea but people can cause more harm than good for themselves unless they have real expert guidance on some of these things. We’ve been working with functional medicine practitioners in particular because of the additional training they do on top of their MD training to essentially know the nutraceutical side and all the lifestyle things you mentioned. They have a scientific evidence-driven lens on that and also genetics. That’s how we’ve built up this framework with confidence to encompass a lot more data into our diagnostic health.

There is a new focus. What I would love to see is two things be expanded on in the future that are untapped markets for health, 1) Lifestyle decisions. I signed up for your newsletter, the Maka Health Newsletter. The first article which I thought was so good was about hydration. There’s a study that everybody’s citing in the healthcare wellness space about higher levels of sodium. For those of you guys who don’t know what that is, it’s an electrolyte that’s in our body. It’s a marker of how hydrated you are. The higher sodium you have, the less hydrated you are. The lower sodium you have, the more hydrated you are. There’s a range. You don’t want to get outside of that range.

If you have a high sodium range, that’s something that is an independent predictor for chronic disease. That’s what we’re dealing with in the civilized world, chronic disease and how that affects us. If I could drink more water, therein I would become healthier but I don’t do it. For a lifestyle decision, give me an example of how you feel like we’re going to be guided by software in making better decisions.

This is where the human side makes a big difference. We’ll probably talk about AI, ML and all that fun stuff that’s taken over the world but for us, people heal and grow in relationships. When we look at what holds people accountable for certain actions, we often see that someone’s more likely to, when they’re pregnant, all of a sudden, do all the things they were supposed to be doing before because it’s no longer about them. When it comes to people’s loved ones, they act differently and they want to show up. Not to talk about Maka too much but we’ve spent a long time looking at the different allied relationships and buckets that weave our motivation together.

People heal and grow in relationships.

When you ask someone in a structured way to be your mentor, supporter and ally, that comes with it. First of all, it’s an honor and a bit of an obligation but you also can commit to someone else’s growth and path in a way that’s very deep and connecting for a relationship. We’ve had these little experiments on our team around almost doing a sprint methodology as they do in technology but for our health. We’ve called it the functional wellness method but have essentially been seeing how that has held our team group together building trust and empathy for where each other is at in a given moment and a stronger foundation.

All that is to say social relationships are super important. There’s this great book called Hooked and it’s about habit-forming. Also, Atomic Habits, which has been a big topic as well. The way that we’ve been thinking about that is looking at that commercial side of getting cool stuff and having access and exclusivity because there are services and products. We have partnerships developing with great longevity products. We want to give people early access and discounts on supplements that they need and things that are almost like surprises but bonuses for them being on track.

It’s very extrinsic almost having this crazy eight ball thrown at you of, “You’ve got something because you did the right thing after the fact of these variable rewards.” Behavioral science has shown that that’s the most effective. People can’t know that if I sleep 8 hours a night for 30 nights, I’m going to get an extra reward. You can’t tell them that. It’s demotivating. You have to do it after the fact. It’s a little interesting human psychology exploration.

Having a feedback loop that promotes healthy habits is going to be important for any software. I like what you said about social connections because I feel like that’s something that has not been leveraged by technology yet. We have social media but we haven’t leveraged social connections very well. When we start talking about the Apple Watch and then the ability to challenge other people that are in your circle, to me, that has been a game changer. My cousins and I will have a competition. I’m working harder that week than I’m working in the other weeks.

I don’t know if there’s any good data on the long-term effects of that but I do know that it’s something that we learn in medical school to get over things like addiction, even the opportunity to talk to somebody about potential surgical outcomes. You always want the family there. It’s something that we inherently know as species but I don’t feel like technology’s tapped into it yet.

I have my Apple Watch. It used to be the Oura Ring but I want to uplevel that customer discovery as well. It is different. One of the things for us, in particular, is we’re very focused on the future of health data privacy but also health data ownership. We’re in a Web3 incubator here in London because we’ve been focused on how to redesign. Not just a user owning their experience of their healthcare but the underlying data mechanics of that.

Essentially, when we look to that future, we’ve been designing for how when a person’s piece of data is used, they get some of the compensation back from that. It’s almost like a profit sharing on your data if that person consents to that data’s use. It’s also one of the areas of opportunity that technology outside of the AI/ML realm presents.

I do find that there are people that care about this and people that don’t care about it at all. Maybe 80 don’t care about it and 20 do. As we’ve seen with the data breaches with Facebook and other platforms, it’s becoming more real in the consumer’s eyes and individual’s eyes. Not to be taken advantage of. Not for your health data to be moved over to that insurance company that you didn’t consent to. “What’s the impact on my employer?” We’ve even seen from Facebook, people’s abortion data going to the US government without consent. That’s quite icky in my books. It makes me think seriously about the ethics of the design of the health data on our platform.

When you make a connection with somebody, if it’s you and your partner versus you and your work colleagues, the level of data you are sharing is controlled by you and likely very different. These levels of intimacy are very different. Hopefully, you want your doctor on the platform to see everything because that’s the point of it.

We’ve found these interesting circumstances where parents don’t want to share with their children all of their actual deep health data but they’re more than happy to talk at a top level about how they’re doing. We’ve had to design these levels of data sharing and levels of communication. We visually design all that so we can be so conscious of people’s comfort and how that goes out in the world. It’s a whole other topic.

Everybody’s worried about security issues and they’re real but a lot of that stuff is a lot of nay-saying. In general, the security stuff is real but I see society getting better day by day. People took advantage of social media. If you look at all of the other technological aspects of having this privacy, I like having curated Amazon stuff. It’s nice when I’m looking for stuff for my daughter and something comes up that I didn’t know that I needed and I get that and it adds value to my life.

I’m hoping that’s the same thing with health. That’s the most important thing when we have curated experiences based on the behavior patterns of a human being. I would love to have some guidance in my life that says, “You shouldn’t eat this but you should eat that. You park here instead of over there so you get a little few more steps in.” The way I want AI and machine learning to guide me is like a coach and have something along the way that gives me enough motivation to get me to the next level. That’s the tricky part, which I feel like we haven’t figured out yet, the science behind motivation. There are people that are philosophizing about it but I don’t think we figured it out in the same way that we know that statins lower cholesterol.

One of the learnings in some of our research is that the things that are motivating people are much more unexpected to me. It seems obvious when I say it out loud. For example, the idea of having more energy and vitality. To me, there’s a fundamental, like you were maximizing and optimizing your overall well-being. Everyone wants that. A lot of people want to look younger. That’s what they want, glowing skin and fewer wrinkles. These are all things that people almost don’t want to admit that’s what they’re going after but it does make a big difference.

When people are talking about longevity, which is in the news about life extension, they’re talking about being younger for longer. They’re not talking about becoming older. The other thing that I wanted to talk with you about and what you alluded to was genetics, genetic testing and its ability to help us become healthier. Can you give some examples of that? That’s another untapped market. From a consumer’s perspective, 23andMe, Ancestry.com and all of these services that have jumped on the genealogy train with genetics have done well. I haven’t seen a lot of good companies that have maximized health as part of genetic testing.

What I’m seeing from my vantage point of our partners is that there’s a lot of deep good work being done in that area but the commercialization of it is a big gap. I can attribute that in a few ways. There is this element of information overload. I’m someone that, through my health journey, has done about five different genetic tests and the whole sequencing.

Compare those experiences to me because I haven’t done one yet. What did you use? What were your outcomes? Was it consistent across everything? Is the genetic testing good from company A or as good as company B?

No. This is the problem and this is why we’ve been working with our chief scientist, who is a Cambridge genetic specialist. Part of our problem is that these tests have conflicting information in them. I’m thinking of three because it’s all my brain can handle. It will tell me about different exercises, eating and susceptibility. You have to look pretty deep into the data science. Most people won’t or can’t. You need to know a specialist to be able to identify what is best in class. I am grateful to 23andMe for cracking open the area. With a lot of the new genetic tests, we can use the 23andMe data to get better data from that. That’s part of how we’re approaching it.

I’ve gotten incredibly analytically deep data looking at a whole list of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and potential sensitivities across the board. It can go so granular as that to your risk for breast cancer. 23andMe used to tell you that. You had to unlock it. The social impact of that was so negative. Also, the experience of people learning if they’re at a 60% risk. What do they do? Do they get surgery? Do they live in fear? The moral implications outweighed the good.

For us, it’s about having those trusted intermediaries to be interpreters. People need to make sense of this. When I look at my 23andMe, it’s lightweight compared to what it used to be. They had to cut that down. I look at something like Dante Labs, not lightweight at all but almost complete information overload. One of the things that we talked to our genetic partners about is essentially, “This is looking at genetics.” The only way that you can grasp the full picture is when you layer on the labs, specific symptoms, family history, trauma and wearable data where you’ll find out someone’s heart rate variability and be able to look in a cohort sense of how they’re doing.

When you start to look across all those layers of the health data pyramid, you’re going to be able to interpret how they should proceed in the context of their life. It’s not a failure. It’s the limit of the genetic tests. Your genes are in a vacuum where your genes can be influenced. Why don’t we use all these other factors to choose the most powerful mechanisms to ensure that whatever percentage does not actualize, as opposed to just knowing it? The opportunity is super exciting. We can build and do better. That’s what Maka is foundationally building from an intelligence layer. No small feat, I may add but certainly, the evolution of this is the mission that society needs, I feel very strongly.

When you start to look across all those layers of the health data pyramid, you’re going to be able to interpret how they should proceed in the context of your life.

There’s so much data out there, whether it’s coming from wearables, our genes, health outcomes or electronic medical record. It’s tough to sift through. I look forward to the time when artificial intelligence can make sense of it all and give us a pathway to success. Years ago, I’m a healthier person because of technology. That’s an exciting trajectory. What else is going to hold possible for us years from now? That is exciting to me. I hope that we can leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence in a way that we can do that stuff. Do you see that happening?

It’s already happening. I was sent an article in this sample of a chat-based health query situation. It was ChatGPT 3.5, even significantly more empathetic and accurate than the human. It was very shocking to me but that was the patient’s perspective and that’s not always the most holistic either. It goes to show that it’s available and happening. I’m very conscious about how to take a very integrative lens to that. For us, a human can never be replaced because the human has the creative insight that is always extending the boundaries of what a machine is capable of doing.

From a practitioner perspective, we’re very focused on those health practitioners that are working on the ground and seeing these things that don’t fit the mold. You can build a machine learning model but it tends to build to the average. It’s going to give you the most likely response. The real world is super messy. As long as we can keep building in more of those edge cases and those marginalized cases are part of the algorithmic capability, we’re in a truly personalized place. That is a never-ending mission.



It is a lot of data design. It’s a constant state of evolution. I am not exposing to be an expert on human-in-the-loop AI and reinforcement learning but those are the foundational pieces that are being architected into ensuring what we give is consistently valid. Also, looking at empowering the physician with the AI’s recommendations to then deliver if they agree to their client or patient. There is always a check as well. There are ways to do this that are very not AI’s taking over the world.

A symbiotic relationship with artificial intelligence is what’s going to happen. I’m optimistic about artificial intelligence as well. It’s going to make our lives more meaningful because a lot of the stuff that was more mundane will be taken on by computers. At least that’s what I hope. Especially a lot of the more mundane tasks of me being in a hospital system, I would hope that they are outsourced to artificial intelligence. Tell me specifically, what interventions are you guys doing at your company to make people’s health better? Give me an example of what you guys are doing.

To be fair, we haven’t launched yet. I don’t know if I should be hypothetical. We designed these interventions as Maka methods. There’s a standardized educational component but then there’s tailoring a recommendation to a person. It could be something as you have what looks like autoimmune issues. Let’s remove gluten for three months and see if that makes it. That’s a very simple one and obvious for people in the field. Not everyone tries that as something to track, test and see what the difference is. I’m the person that goes to the integrative doctor’s office and comes out with 20 supplements and 8 new things to do. I do half of them because I’m a little bit forgetful. I’m an entrepreneur and running in a million directions.

One of the things we’re trying to mitigate is people like me overextending what they think they’re capable of to make a change and keep that steady. This is not about this three-month panacea where you’re all fixed up and off you go. This is a way of thinking about your world and health and a commitment to excellence that’s always iterating and improving. You always have more data inputs to work with.

It’s a self-learning system. Your one body or N of one experiment. It’s exciting when we think about it that way because of how much power you have to be your superhuman. Years ago, I was in bed with chronic fatigue and was allergic to everything. I had no idea how I was going to get better, what I had or what was wrong with me. I can say that this functional and lifestyle medicine works because here I am.

What did you do in your life that turned it around?

The hospital system said they weren’t equipped to help me and they didn’t know what to do. I ended up with a series of naturopaths that helped a little bit. I then ended up in a functional medicine office and got way more tests and deep support. Essentially, I got a diagnosis, a path forward, reversed it and all was well. It took a little bit while. They said it’s going to take some time. It started with a supplement protocol. They discovered a parasite. It’s hard to test for that much stuff. It can be expensive and hard to figure out where to look. It was that functional guidance that got me there.

For those of us who aren’t familiar with functional medicine, what do you mean by that? Naturopath is considered to be a doctorate in Chinese medicine. For a functional medicine specialist, what’s their training and what do they provide?

A functional medicine doctor is an MD. Typically, what’s happened is they’ve gone, practiced and got frustrated with these seven-minute patient appointments of the sick care system. It’s someone like you who typically has an innovative mindset and wants to solve and be a detective. There are a number of programs. I believe Stanford has one. There’s an Institute of Functional Medicine. It’s three additional years of your MD training to qualify as a functional medicine practitioner. You then get licensed state by state similar to MD.

There’s a small number of functional medicine doctors compared to naturopaths because it’s a much more requirement to gain that specialty. Fortunately, there’s been a number of functional medicine coaching and other training schools and diplomas to support that. We’re taking an approach that is like a multi-layered approach. Functional medicine, because its essence is very holistic, provides a good framework and ensures we’re not missing anything in how we analyze.

It’s something that I’ve heard about. I haven’t gone myself to go see a functional medicine specialist but more people are looking into it because more people are interested in optimizing their health. They might be relatively healthy in comparison to the rest of the population but they want to maximize their performance. They want to make sure that they feel better regularly. Correct me if I’m wrong but oftentimes, they’ll do a ton of lab tests. They’ll look at your hormones, different electrolyte imbalances and things like that. They then optimize everything.

The story that I keep hearing is that someone will go into a functional medicine practitioner for X reason and discover something different that changes their life. It’s almost like a surprise that this was discovered. It’s doing that deep comprehensive background. One of our practitioners works with a lot of high-performance CEOs. She typically does somewhere around fifteen hours of data analysis before giving a single recommendation. Not light touch but that’s why there’s so much room for automation of that analysis.

We don’t know what the lab values are to optimize health as well as we think we do. A lot of the literature that is coming out for optimizing performance is based on sports, different athletes and recovery periods. A lot of the physical therapy and occupational therapy literature is showing how to do that stuff. There aren’t a lot of medical practitioners other than functional medicine specialists that are looking into this. I think that because our healthcare system is so reactive. For so long, the biggest issue to carry a human being until the end of life was to minimize the morbidity of disease. Now, there’s not as much of that stuff affecting us.

Many people like myself or yourself will want to optimize their health performance. That’s a relatively new thing. We’ve never had the luxury of optimizing health. For so long of our history, we’ve focused on disease. That’s why I think that that’s exciting. As we grow into the longevity space, people are going to want to be healthy for longer too. I’m very interested to feel like I’m 30 when I’m 40 or feeling like I’m 50 when I’m 70. Those kind of outcomes are what is going to make life very enjoyable for our generation.


FSP 8 | Future Of Preventative Health


Speaking about that awareness, wearables brought so much awareness to, “What does this data point mean?” When I think about the next pass forward, I think about how the wearables might tell you one thing but not exactly what to do from it. People have a tendency to do what they’ve done in the past. Before, when I got quite ill, I meditated. I was like, “I’m going to meditate some more and everything’s going to be fine.” I can tell you that was not solving the fundamental problems of the parasite, the allergies and the things that were physically ailing me. It was creating a light panacea in the interim. For so many people, they are going to need that push to go to the gym and lift some weights. A lot of people don’t want to do that inherently.

I don’t want to do it if I feel like I have to do it. That’s the thing. I want to turn that feeling around because the difference between wanting to do something and feeling like you have to do something is where you get the drop off in the adoption of a new behavior. You’re right. I hope that we are able to nudge people in the right direction. Let’s say we’re nudging people in the right direction. What are the outcomes that you’re looking at that we can tell that a person is getting healthier?

It depends. There are a few objective measures. I might have mentioned heart rate variability. It’s such a good objective measure for overall health and well-being. I do believe that that’s going to become more baseline in terms of an overall medical interpretation of a human. It’s incredible, the number of tech companies coming up with non-invasive stress readings based on your face. Take a photo of the amount of stuff they can see and your blood pressure. The accessibility of this baseline data is getting super in your face as you want it to be or want to look at it.



There’s a balance. This doesn’t exactly answer your question but the balance is not becoming stressed and obsessed with your numbers either when someone who’s bulimic is checking the scale three times a day. You don’t want to do that with anything. There has to be moderation even in that giving it time. The amount of anxiety health can cause if you can be inadvertent by having so much data in your face about it.

That’s the human side. How can we consciously calm people’s nervous systems as they encounter all of this new information about themselves and not have the solution become part of the problem? Ultimately, self-reported data sucks from a medical perspective. At the end of the day, I feel great. I love my life. I’m so happy I’m on this path. That’s binary. If you’re there, you’re there. That’s where we want you to be.

There are some of the health outcomes that I like. I like the heart rate variability. VO2 max is something that is a big deal. A lot of people are talking about it. Honestly, it’s so hard to increase your VO2 max. It requires so much exercise that I’m working on that myself. Everybody’s looking at body fat percentage. I’m interested in finding out what the data shows. This is controversial.

There’s a lot of controversy about the measurement of health. For example, cholesterol. We used to think that this was some terrible thing for the longest time. Now, there are a lot of dissenting opinions about cholesterol and people think it’s more to do with sugar. I look forward to the day when that debate is set and when we can say, “This is the type of diet that you need to eat to look amazing and feel amazing. Deliver it to me so I don’t have to even go to the grocery store. That way, all I’m going to be eating is this.”

That’s the type of lifestyle prescription that we should be putting people on. I don’t think that that answer is going to come from academics. It’s going to come from the private sector like yourself. You have to provide a model that people want to sign up for and that has measurable outcomes that you will get healthier if you do this. For so long, that model has been like snake oil. It’s been in the back of comic books. “Do this exercise and you’ll look like the Hulk.”

That was the type of advertising that a lot of the fitness industry was basing itself on. You have things like the Liver King. He has been promoting this back-to-caveman lifestyle and he’s been taking steroids the whole time. I look forward to when the debate is settled because that’s what we need. We don’t have a set prescription other than, “You should increase your physical activity.”

I say that that it depends on so much earnesty because ancestral diets are real. People’s lineages do determine if they should be eating meat or not.

Ancestral diets are real. People’s lineages do determine if they should be eating a type of meat or not.

A lot of people don’t know that. Everybody’s metabolism is different. A lot of it is based on your genetics. My background is South Asian. We have a high propensity for diabetes so I should not be eating things that spike my blood glucose as much as somebody else that can tolerate it a little bit better. We’re in the beginning baby steps to this whole journey. I’m excited because I don’t think it was going to be able to happen with human beings alone with the amount of data that we would need to sift through.

We have things like what you’re working on, which is artificial intelligence and machine learning. It can process all of that and then give it to us in this nice little shiny package. That’s something that I’m willing to buy. I want to sign up for that so that we can get to a healthier lifestyle for everybody. I don’t think that that change is going to happen in the academic sector. It has to be the private sector and me signing up for Amazon. That becomes so ingrained into the public consciousness that you have to sign up for this so that you get healthier. It’s not available yet. I’m looking forward to it.

Thank you. I’m looking forward to the aspiration of when your product solves all your problems.

That’s an awesome saying. I like that. That’s certainly a good motivation for being an entrepreneur, making something for yourself. Hopefully, it’ll benefit the rest of the world.

Other people want this. It’s been cool to see how much people’s experiences and stories are so aligned in this area though. There’s so much energy for health optimization and knowledge that years ago, this conversation would have been as easy to have. It’s been a wonderful conversation. Thank you so much.

I’m glad that you made a little bit of a segue there because we are getting to the end of our time like every other guest at the end. I love hearing you talk but my brain is going, “I want to ask for this and that.” I always have three questions at the end to round up this interesting discussion that we’ve been having. The first of which is something that you alluded to, which is the presence of artificial intelligence and machine learning. All in all, in your opinion, is it positive or negative? Thumbs up or thumbs down?

It’s a super positive power tool for humans.

That’s a good way to look at it. It’s a tool just like anything else. You can either be super positive about your power tool and that it’s able to cut something in a very specific pattern or you could be worried that it’s going to cut your finger off. You could be a type A person or a type B person. We should look at artificial intelligence as type A. It’s scary. Is it an existential threat? Possibly, but so is nuclear energy. That’s something that certainly has some negatives to it but all in all, it’s been positive.

There are many types of media. When I think of what got me excited about building the future, for me, it was science fiction and specifically a few different books that I always come back to. It doesn’t need to be science fiction but what are some media influences that you have that have brought you to what you’re doing?

I live in an era of a lot of short content. I’m an entrepreneur hummingbird brain. I like to surround myself with beautiful books but I don’t always read them to the end.

One of the guys I was talking to was an artificial intelligence researcher. He’s like, “What do you look at as artificial intelligence?” I said, “The vision from The Avengers.” That’s something that to me, I hope that artificial intelligence is that fantastic.

There’s a book called Grace and Grit by Ken Wilber. Ken Wilber is a philosopher of everything and it includes health. This is the story of him and his partner who had cancer. I also lived through having a partner with cancer. This is a heart-why answer, not an intellectual science-fiction answer. That reconnected me with how the deep love for a human can translate to a deep love for humanity to fix it all if you can carry that love into the all. That’s a more philosophical place. Being an entrepreneur is hard. You have to wake up and stay motivated each day. There are always 5 steps forward and 3 steps back so you have to keep going. Part of me is always connecting to my why.

Being an entrepreneur is hard. You have to wake up and stay motivated each day. There are always five steps forward, three steps back. You have to keep going.

I’ve been to a lot of conferences. There were transformative technology conferences and movements in San Francisco. Essentially, I got exposed to all of these startups and innovations that were developing for the grandiose consciousness and well-being of humanity. Being immersed in that for a few years brought me great insight into the world of possibility. It feels like a connectivity of like-minded people all moving in this direction that’s super powerful. We make these connections like on this show. We’re part of a bigger whole making this change, that’s for sure.

That’s not precisely media but I would say my favorite YouTube clip is the most astounding fact, Neil deGrasse Tyson. He’s a great scientist but he is also making that connection from the one to the whole and the why of it all. That’s the place I sit in. I work with smart technologists, economists, behavioral scientists, scientists and researchers to put that passion into something cohesive.

It’s nice to hear what your influences are, especially that first one. We can all agree that cancer sucks. That’s something that I’m looking forward to the end of. The last question that I wanted to ask you is you’re in this intersection between healthcare, wellness and technology. Where do you see that intersection in 2033? What can we expect to get excited about in 2033?

I feel like 2033 is happening in 2023.

If everything goes the way that Michelle Martin wants it to go, where do you want it to go?

How can the evolution of health in society be the greatest catalyst for massive social awakening and contrast change? Human health is intrinsically linked to global warming. When you can raise and elevate the health of society, it creates space for empathy and caring about things that are bigger than what’s in front of them. When someone isn’t healthy, they can only deal with that. That is the problem. If you’re a friend partner, that is what you can focus on.


FSP 8 | Future Of Preventative Health


I believe that all of this innovation combined and I’m excited for the role Maka can play in this but I can create a lot more space for conscious action in the world. It moves into more sustainable actions because that’s needed. All of this data is creating self-awareness and I love the day when we don’t need the tools because we’re in such a great state of self-awareness of the tools.

It’s like 2 and 3 go together. I think about what you’re doing and where I hope the industry goes in 2033. Have you ever seen the movie WALL-E with Disney and Pixar? The human beings in that scenario were going in the opposite direction. We’re all sitting in chairs and floating around. We don’t even need to move. Food is given to us. I would like to go in the opposite direction. Spoiler alert, the humans get back to earth and start living a healthier lifestyle. With the combination and help of robots and artificial intelligence, they’re able to live healthier lifestyles because everything is tracked. I hope that’s where we’re at. We get some help and a good coach. I hope that we’re able to see Maka Health doing that in the future.

Thank you. We will.

It’s so nice to speak with you. For those of you guys who are reading, it was nice talking with Michelle Martin. For the rest of the audience, nice speaking with you and nice having you read. We’ll see you in the future. Have a good one.


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About Michelle Martin

FSP 8 | Future Of Preventative HealthMichelle Martin is founder and CEO of Maka Health, a TechStars company focussed on wellbeing and performance, and building an AI that amplifies the effectiveness of whole health interventions. She credits functional medicine for saving her life, and providing the most powerful framework from which Maka can deliver personalized, preventative and regenerative healthcare.


By: The Futurist Society